Lady Warriors tame Wildcats
Published 9:02 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Monday’s softball showdown between Nansemond River High School and visiting Great Bridge High School had exactly the atmosphere one might expect from a game featuring two of the top teams in the area.
The contest was scoreless until the Lady Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning. But the Lady Warriors responded quickly and capitalized on Great Bridge errors, and senior Emily Carson hit a walk-off single to give Nansemond River a 2-1 victory on a cold spring night.
“I’m extremely happy with our performance,” Lady Warriors coach Gabe Rogers said. He later added, “Obviously a win against a program like that is big for our program.”
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The game featured a pitcher’s duel between Nansemond River junior Lauren Maddrey and Lady Wildcats senior Sydney Harless.
Harless finished with eight strikeouts, and Maddrey ended up with six. Each team had three hits, but Maddrey did allow some walks, one of which led to Great Bridge’s only run.
After the Lady Wildcats scored, Maddrey hit a fly ball to left-center field in the bottom of the sixth. Rogers noted the wind affected it, and she ended up getting a double out of it.
Later on, senior Morgan Lowers delivered a hard line drive that was difficult for the shortstop to handle, scoring Maddrey to tie the game.
Nansemond River’s defense set up the chance for a win by having a three up, three down inning in the top of the seventh.
During the bottom of the seventh, NR junior Calah Savage hit a ground ball to the shortstop. She successfully reached first base when the throw to first hit the first baseman’s glove but fell out.
Savage was playing despite being sick to her stomach, a condition that forced two brief delays in play. Pinch-running for her in the seventh was junior KateLynn Hodgkiss, who was otherwise sidelined due to a recent cut on her hand that required seven stitches to her ring finger.
But Hodgkiss could still provide her speed on the bases, and she stole second. Later, junior Maddie McGrath put down a bunt that allowed Hodgkiss to reach third.
Hodgkiss scored when Emily Carson came up and hit the ball between shortstop and third base.
“It was a big-time game, big-time team, and for one of our seniors to have that opportunity to step up and deliver a big-time hit, it was just really special for her,” Rogers said.
Carson said she felt satisfaction, and coming through in the clutch meant a lot given her present circumstances.
“I decided that pursuing college softball is not what I want to do, so I’m purely playing for the love of the game and for the love of my teammates,” she said on Tuesday. “Getting that hit last night, it made it all worth it.”
Rogers said freshman Ashlyn Rogers did a very good job filling in for Hodgkiss.
“It’s just a testament to kind of the depth that we have available this year,” he said.
Nansemond River (2-0) hosted Indian River High School on Tuesday and visits Lakeland High School on Friday.